Premier League confirm substitute rule change that could see Liverpool turn to youth

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The Premier League have confirmed that clubs can use five substitutes in every game for the rest of the season, with a total of nine able to be named in the squad.

With the English top flight set to resume on June 17, talks are ongoing over how best to fulfil the remaining 92 fixtures following a break of over three months.

A successful return of the Bundesliga has laid out the blueprint for leagues across the rest of Europe, and the Premier League have now approved a rule change in line with their counterparts in Germany.

In a statement released on Thursday afternoon, the league confirmed that five substitutes from a possible nine are permitted in every game “for the remainder of 2019/20”:

Premier League shareholders today agreed temporary changes to the rules relating to substitute players.

“For the remainder of the 2019/20 season, the number of substitutes that can be used during a match will increase from three to five players.

“This is in line with the temporary law amendment made by the International Football Association board last month.

“Shareholders also approved for clubs to increase the maximum number of substitute players on the bench from seven to nine for the rest of the 2019/20 season.”

This was a necessary adjustment due to the demands on players following such a lengthy break, and with games condensed into a limited timeframe of around six weeks.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 2, 2020: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah is replaced by substitute Harvey Elliott during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Sheffield United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

For Liverpool, this is likely to see further opportunities for the young players in Jurgen Klopp‘s squad and could see them reap the benefits of certain players returning from injury during the time off.

Naby Keita, for example, appears to be closer to full fitness, while Curtis Jones, Neco Williams, Harvey Elliott, Ki-Jana Hoever, Yasser Larouci, Sepp van den Berg and Paul Glatzel have all been involved in senior training.

It is yet to be confirmed whether those five changes will still need to be made at a maximum of three intervals—as is the case in Germany—but this would be sensible, ensuring managers cannot use the increased number of substitutes to waste time.

But the prospect of five players coming on undoubtedly increases the likelihood of Klopp turning to the youngsters in his squad, which could provide crucial experience.

If Liverpool tie up the title early on this is even more realistic, as the manager can preserve tired legs and avoid unnecessary injuries ahead of a swift turnaround for the 2020/21 campaign.

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